Cover photo for Gerald Gruber's Obituary
Gerald Gruber Profile Photo

Gerald Gruber

February 23, 1957 — August 10, 2023

If I should live forever

And all my dreams come true

My memories of love will be of you.

-John Denver


With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Gerry Gruber on August 10, 2023, at the age of 66. Gerry died peacefully at Saint Vincent Hospital in Ottawa after a courageous fight with brain cancer.

Born on February 23, 1957, Gerry grew up on a family farm near Leipzig, Saskatchewan with his four brothers and two sisters. Life was busy on the farm where he helped out with baling, picking rocks, seeding, milking cows, cleaning the creamer, shoveling manure and feeding the pigs between snowball fights, family hockey games on the ice behind the house, throwing the football around with his brothers, riding the Yamaha motorcycle and hitting fly balls from his dad. Gerry attended high school at St. Thomas College in North Battleford, Saskatchewan where he won the Governor General’s Academic Medal. He went on to earn a Master's degree in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan. While in Saskatoon, Gerry met his best friend, Laurie Labbé. They fell in love and were married in 1977.

One of Gerry’s first jobs after University was in the Planning Section of the Calgary Police Services. During his time in Calgary, he and Laurie welcomed their two children, Melissa and Zachary, into the world. In 1986, his young family moved to Ottawa so Gerry could take a job with the Personnel Psychology Centre in the Public Service Commission of Canada. Three years later, he started an independent management consulting company called Gruber Associates, working in the area of Industrial Organizational Psychology.

Family was very important to Gerry. As a dad, he encouraged his daughter, son and later granddaughter to think for themselves and reach their full potential. When his children took up softball and baseball, he didn’t like how competitive the recreational leagues had become. And so he coached his children’s teams every year so they could focus on having fun and building confidence

Along with his family, he travelled to Saskatchewan almost every year to see his parents, sisters and brothers. He found joy in being a grandpa and loved reading, singing and playing music with his granddaughter, Delta. He was a prolific advice-giver - whether it was asked for or not. He was always there when we needed him, seemed to know what to do in difficult situations and took care of the people he loved.

Gerry was an avid fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Blue Jays. He enjoyed many hours of star-gazing with his telescopes in his backyard and attended monthly meetings of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Ottawa chapter. He was a man of many talents. He played sports when he was growing up including baseball, hockey, and soccer. He took voice and piano lessons - playing many duets with his sister Pat - and taught himself to play the flute. He started playing guitar at the age of 10 and played it for the rest of his life - at home, with his high school choir, and while leading music at his church for Children’s Liturgy and Sunday Mass. More recently, he joined two choirs taking on the fresh challenge of singing classical music. He built toys, crucifixes and furniture. He finished the basements of his houses in Calgary and Ottawa and helped build his son’s basement. He taught himself to build guitars and, in 2006, he closed up his consulting company to become a full-time luthier. He named his guitar-building company “Xaver Guitars'' in honour of his late grandfather who inspired Gerry with his positive attitude to life and his woodworking abilities.

Gerry taught himself to speak German and travelled to Europe three times. On his first trip to Bavaria, Gerry met some of his relatives by chance. They quickly became good friends and would later describe Gerry as the loveliest and most extraordinary person they knew.

Gerry is survived by his wife, Laurie, his daughter, Melissa his son, Zachary, his granddaughter, Delta, his son-in-law, Kayle, his parents, Frank and Johanna, siblings, Victor, Pat, Clarence, Norman, Colette, Darrel, several nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2024 at St. Philip Neri Parish, 1902 Munroe Ave. S, Saskatoon, SK. at 1 o'clock.  The family suggests donations to The Slay Society or The Gord Downie Brain Cancer Research Centre instead of flowers.

We’d like to say goodbye to Gerry with a big HUG the way he always did with Delta: “Hugga hugga hugga”.

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Saturday, August 10, 2024

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Friday, October 6, 2023

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